Classic Malbec

Classic Malbec? Maybe you are asking yourself, “What is that?” I know I certainly said that when I was browsing for wine the other day. The wine label was very odd and I noticed later online that many of the well-established producers in Mendoza have a “Classic line” of wines along with their “Reserva” and other higher quality selections. However here in the USA you might not see a “Classic” Label anywhere most the Malbec for sale are “Reserva”
So does this mean that Classic is lower quality than Reserva?
matter of fact, I did some research into the labeling and discovered that many Bodegas in Argentina refer to the classic label as a wine that reflect the Bodegas and winemakers style not so much terrior. Sometimes the wines (particularly the reds) will have little to no oak. Most of the time this is what you would call the “House wine” however as I have been told from several friends that have visited South American Wineries, do not be fooled by the name “house wine”
This Alta Vista Classic Malbec was no exception, a complete different Malbec experience than what  I am used to! I was shocked to actually taste a somewhat mocha/coffee presence as well as some red and dark berry action in this wine. Tannins were very soft and the finish very supple. The whole wine was balanced and honestly I could have paired it with almost anything and it would have worked.  That night this wine paired well with my Birthday cake!

One thing I wanted to point out is that this wine was only $9.00 and was totally a unique experience compared to the mass marketed Malbecs out there. A true steal of a wine in my opinion.

This Producer is a very well know and well established winery in Alta Vista, Mendoza, Argentina. And I have tried several wines from them at all price ranges. The Classic Label Torrontes is one of my Favorite white wines right now. If you See Alta Vista on the shelf no matter what it is, I can almost promise you it is worth buying a bottle to taste. Their higher end Corte A, Corte B and Corte C are mostly “kitchen sink blends” that for the price points will blow you away. Since the boom of South American wines here in the US, I feel that these guys kind of took a back seat into the US market however I feel from what I have tasted of their wines, they definitively reflect what made wine from Argentina great!


Make your own Pizza night!

This week has been a tough one for me. Ive been all over the state not to mention an emergency trip down to Houston due to a scare from an ill family member as well as my CRX dying on me in Dallas. The Distributor went bad on me after being in the car only 4 months. Apparently from what Ive been told by many fellow CRX owners, the distributors are a very sensitive part to these cars and unless you buy an “O.E.” replacement you are going to have problems. The one I purchased when I was having other issues with the car was brand new from Oreilly Auto parts and was made in China not Japan. Needless to say its a good thing I had a spare because Im back on the road. Its terrible that I can not get reimbursed for having to tow it back home.

So I said all that to say… I needed some good food and wine! What better than to make your own pizza!

The wife and I invited our close friend Nicole over who just recently turned 21 to celebrate and help us eat all this pizza! We all 3 prefer thin crust pizza and lots of veggies on ours as you can see. There were tons of left overs!

I also experimented with something new a BBQ chicken pizza with onions and 2 kinds of cheese. This one was my favorite!

Now the wine….
I have been on this quest to understand Pinot Noir and why people like this grape so much. I honestly still do not see what many see in it as opposed to many other fuller bodied varietals. Ive been drinking Pinot all around the world and This one was from Mendoza Argentina this time.

09 Salentein Reserve Pinot Noir, Mendoza Aregntina – 17.99 –
One thing I noticed about this Pinot was that it was very well balanced. The acidity was not as prominent as you find in many other Pinots. The fruit was mostly strawberry which I am finding is something that you find in more South American Pinots than other regions. I actually like this Pinot because well it did not remind me when I drink it every time that it was a Pinot. There was some nice soft tannins that also showed up later after being open a while. All around it was a good wine at a good price point.

2009 Domaine Santa Duc Rasteau Rouge Les Blovac, Rhone, France -16.99
After the last Brown Bag Wine night and hearing @Friscokid49 talk about how 09 was a phenomenal year in Rhone, Ive been on a quest to find a bottle that would match what he brought that night. Sadly I have been really disappointed with the Rhone reds Ive been finding. This one was part of that group. While the wine had a fantastic deep color and quite a bit of blueberry fruit, I could not get over the Bret. that was on the nose. I know the French love this in their wines because they feel it expresses the “Terroir” But for me I just could not get over it.  Also on the palate was a very airy feel almost like c02 that was not removed. Made me almost think that this wine needs to age for a few more years. Again Im pretty sure the french love this in their wines but for me it just was not worthy of the price. It did do quite well though with my BBQ pizza and the tannins and mouthfeel were disguised when paired with that cheesy monster of a concoction. I will say it was way better with food than without. Maybe some who love this style of wine will appreciate it more so than I

2010 Cap*Rock Bingham Family Vineyards Dry Grenache Rose, Texas High Plains – 10.99 –
I really liked this wine and loved that it was from Texas! I tasted it on my last trip out to Lubbock and was saddened that I only brought back one bottle. I had tasted so many wines that day that things were kind of running together taste-wise. Since the new Specs has opened in Dallas I now have access to this wine and love the quality for price that this wine shows. I firmly believe wines like this will put Texas on the map more so than some of the over priced wines that are being pushed through the Texas wine blogs.
The wine is simple and has a nice berry finish which as you let it sit open a while really shows it self. It caters to the novice wine drinker as well as the more experienced. The nose also does not have the powerful strawberry aromas that you find in most Roses.

But I can say all kinds of things but Ill let this be a testament for you. Our newly 21yr old friend Nicole loves this wine. She is not a wine drinker by any means and has always wanted sweeter wines. This is the first wine I have ever found that she likes. Ive tried other SPW’s (silly pink wines) and none please her palate like this wine does.
To me that says allot and is worthy of some respect even if the wine is pink.

Nicole still has issues learning how to open a bottle of wine, so here is her is a picture of her practicing.  I bought a bottle for her Birthday and she said it took her 10 minutes to figure out how to open it. So funny, after I showed her a few tricks to using this type of corkscrew she quickly became a pro!

Last night was a blast… Good food, a good friend and Time with my beloved wife and family! It was what I needed!